News Release 659

Vichy Store and Tire and Deli referred to attorney general for underground storage tank violations

Volume 38-659 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, NOV. 24, 2010 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources referred the case against a Vichy gas station to the Missouri Attorney General’s office to pursue civil penalties for violations of Missouri's Underground Storage Tank Law.

The department referred the facility registered as Vichy Store and Tire and Deli to the attorney general alleging there are underground storage tanks on-site that have not been maintained and need to be properly, permanently closed.

Department inspections at the facility show the underground tanks still contain liquid. The facility has not shown documentation that required corrosion protection upgrades have been maintained. Specifically, the lining of the underground storage tanks has not been inspected and, if necessary, repaired.

A corroded underground storage tank is more likely to leak petroleum product into the environment and contaminate soil and groundwater. Underground storage tank owners must periodically inspect their tanks and make repairs as necessary. Reports from these inspections and confirmation of any repairs made must be sent to the department.

Due to the serious nature of these violations, the department referred this matter to the attorney general to compel compliance and to seek an appropriate civil penalty for the violations. The Missouri Constitution requires civil penalties to be paid to the school fund of the county in which the violation occurred.

Missouri's Underground Storage Tank Law exists to protect public and environmental health and the department is responsible for enforcing the law and regulations.

The department's enforcement actions help protect human health and the environment by requiring facilities to maintain compliance. The main goal in any enforcement action is to work with a facility to successfully achieve compliance with the standards and then ensure it has the tools to remain in compliance. As part of that process, penalties may be used to ensure future compliance by removing the economic benefit of continued noncompliance.

The department strives to work with owners and operators to fix problems before an issue is referred to the Attorney General's Office for legal action.

For more information, contact the department's Hazardous Waste Program at 573-751-3176 or call toll-free at 800-361-4827.